British Columbia Teacher
Dear Students and Parents,
Choosing a school to best suit your needs is a difficult decision that requires careful thought and consideration. Mathematics and science can be challenging subjects for many. We understand that the fact that our program follows the BC curriculum and is taught in English may raise concerns among parents and students considering enrolling in our school. I hope that I can ease some of these concerns by providing some information about our science and math program.
The focus of the math and science program is learning through doing. This begins with the teacher showing students how something is done, then doing it together with the students, then allowing the students to do it themselves. In science, the focus will be on students answering questions using the scientific method, while in math the focus will be on solving problems using mathematical methods. By focusing hands-on instruction over lecture and reading, we make the learning process more approachable for English-language learners.
Although active learning helps students to approach the subjects of science and math, it is also important that they learn to communicate effectively through reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English. To assist students in this process, the English courses will be strongly integrated with the science and math courses. Here students will learn vocabulary, engage in readings, listening exercises, and presentations related to their science and math courses. Through this integrated approach, we aim to balance the development of practical skills in science and math with the ability to communicate about and understand these subjects in English.
Learning to Answer Questions and Solve Problems
Another key focus of our science and math program is learning to think and act like a scientists and mathematicians. In science class, this means being able to think and act like a scientist: ask good questions and make good predictions, plan and conduct investigations, collect and analyze data, and evaluate the meaning of the data. In math class, this means learning a variety of problem-solving strategies, recognizing when to use which strategy, and reflecting on the relative success of their chosen strategy. Additionally, students will apply their science and math learning to real-world contexts, connecting it to society, technology, and the environment. Through this process students will learn to effectively apply science and math in a variety of contexts both inside and outside of the classroom.
Our program is designed with different levels of proficiency in mind, and this is also true of our science and math courses. Learning and assessments are structured in a step-by-step approach to help students build their skills over time. This way, students start where they are comfortable and move forward at their own pace, taking on new challenges when they are ready. In addition, students will be provided with learning experiences and assessments that are designed in a way that gives students the freedom to explore topics that interest them and allow them to express their skills in ways best suited to them. Through this flexible learning environment students can express their unique strengths and interests at a level appropriate to them, giving them the best change for success in academics and life.
We hope you'll join us at our school. Our goal is not only to help you master science and math but also to equip you with skills and ways of thinking that extend beyond the classroom.